A popular Waiheke Island vineyard and events business has been on the losing end of litigation about some of its business activities for some years and that streak continued in the latest round.
Cable Bay has been denied the opportunity to argue its case before the Court of Appeal because that court last week rejected its application to review an unfavourable Environment Court ruling about resource consents and how it operates.
The company can't challenge the previous decision on its operations and that's yet another blow after it brought a High Court appeal but was unsuccessful there.
The Appeal Court's Justice Mark Cooper said in last Tuesday's decision that the vineyard's application for leave to appeal was declined: "Cable Bay unsuccessfully appealed the Environment Court's decision to the High Court and now seeks leave to appeal to this court. The application for leave to appeal is declined."
The Environment Court slapped conditions on the vineyard's operations in the rural area, particularly specifying the location of alfresco dining areas adjacent to the restaurant, specifying a designated area for weddings as well as a short-term viewing area where people could take photos or take in the view.
Last October, the Herald reported how the vineyard had lost the latest round in a protracted legal dispute involving claims of drunken wine lovers, an unconsented hospitality operation and excessive noise.
The business argued the Environment Court had exceeded its jurisdiction by imposing those conditions that sought to control activities for which it had already won consent in 2006.
But it was held in the High Court that the Environment Court had correctly proceeded on the basis that the 2006 consent had not authorised the use of a lawn to walk and take in the views, Justice Cooper recalled.
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Cable Bay Vineyards has been fighting Auckland Council and its immediate neighbours for more almost six years in a dispute that's seen the wine business issued with repeated abatement notices, fines, enforcement action and prosecutions.
Neighbours have lodged at least 75 noise complaints with the council about the vineyard since 2012 when owner Loukas Petrou built an unconsented restaurant extension and began serving alcohol to hundreds of patrons on the 4.5ha site's lawn.
Justice Cooper said in this month's decision that the High Court had found against the vineyard on how it had been operating. The permitted activity of using the lawn did not
form part of the activities authorised by the 2006 consent.
Since 2012, Cable Bay has operated the winery and hospitality business from 12 Nick Johnstone Drive, Oneroa, at the island's western end in a rural/residential environment with coastal views, just 1km from the ferry terminal at Matiatia Bay.
The property is 4.5ha and much of it is covered by vines, grapes planted in the 1990s, three buildings and a car parking area.
Last year's High Court decision noted that by 2014, an additional lightweight veranda structure had been constructed on the property.
"This contained a pizza kitchen, bar and seating for guests. This was constructed and operated without any building or resource consent. By 2017, Cable Bay was using three seating bays (with umbrellas) to the south of the veranda for outdoor dining. It was also using the lawn in front of the restaurant and veranda for informal dining, with guests typically using bean bags," that court said.